When it comes to first dates, there was never a truer saying than first impressions count. According to a recent study, it takes women just seven seconds to make up their mind about a person when they first meet – with many of them not even realising they are doing it.

With this in mind, there are certain ‘first impression rules’ that you’d do well to pay attention to – nail the seven seconds and you’re plain sailing, mess it up and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Here’s your go to guide on how to impress a girl.

Relax – it’s only a date

Unless you are a serial dater and line women up like job interviews – a date should be an enjoyable thing – something that you’ve been looking forward to. In other words – relax! Take it easy and have fun. Being positive is something your date will pick up on regardless of what you say, and making her feel like she’s someone special, somebody that you are genuinely looking forward to getting to know will immediately set you off on the right footing.
Arriving glum or angst looking and your date will instinctively presume that that is the type of person you are, arrive with a big smile and she’ll file you under positive and upbeat.

Time keeping

Now that you have a spring in your step and a big smile of your face, it’s time to remember the second rule of thumb for successful first impression – time keeping. Trains are running late? No excuse. You bumped into a friend on the way over? No excuse. You thought you were meeting at 7.30 not 7 o’clock? Absolutely no excuse. What are you, 12-years-old? … What next – the cat ate your homework!?

Put bluntly, if you can’t get your s**t together to be on time for a date, what does it say about your potential enthusiasm and commitment to a relationship? Very little, that’s what.

Scrub up

So now we have you positive and on time, a good scrub and a decent whistle should follow. Ok, I can waver a suit, but sprucing yourself up, wearing a decent pair of shoes and a clean shirt will go very far in terms of how you appear to your date. Superficial as it sounds, I wouldn’t like to count the amount of women who have told me they’ve been put off by a guy’s lack of effort in the wardrobe department – it’s worth a bit of thought, believe me.

Once you are there, well dressed and on time – and with about 4 seconds left, now is the time to seal the deal.

Be direct

By which I mean, look your date straight in the eye, great her warmly, and lean in for a cheek kiss. Taking the lead with contact, when you first meet, gives the impression of confidence and assertiveness. She is likely to be nervous too, the last thing she wants is an awkward fumble and a lack of direction. By initiating the ‘greeting’, you are allowing her to relax – telling her that you are open, confident and don’t need to have your hand held – very sexy indeed.

Do your research

And lastly do your research. The last thing any girl wants when she’s on a date is to spend the first twenty minutes deciding where to go. If you know the area and nothing specific has been planned, then yes, it is absolutely your responsibility to lead the way in terms of venue. Suggesting a place for a drink, a meal or simply a walk, shows that you value your date’s company enough to have done some research beforehand and that you also value her time enough to make the evening a worthwhile one!

So there you have it, be on time, make an effort, be confident and make sure you don’t end up in a dodgy boozer next to the train station and you won’t go far wrong.

And look on the bright side … at least you’ve only got seven seconds to mess up – how wrong can it go?